Seismic Report Links Earthquakes to Fracking
by Adam Klasfeld (Courthouse News Service) Officially linking a controversial natural gas-drilling method to earthquakes for the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey released a groundbreaking report documenting links between fracking and skyrocketing seismic activity.
Released on Monday, the agency’s “2016 One-Year Seismic Hazard Forecast” contains no explicit reference to hydraulic fracturing, but the allusion to the process is unmistakable.
“Earthquake rates have recently increased markedly in multiple areas of the Central and Eastern United States (CEUS), especially since 2010, and scientific studies have linked the majority of this increased activity to wastewater injection in deep disposal wells,” the 58-page report states.
“Such changes have caused concern to many, including residents, business owners, engineers, and public officials responsible for mitigating or responding to the effects of these earthquakes on nearby populations,” it continues.
These “induced earthquakes,” as the report calls them, “create seismic hazard to buildings, bridges, pipelines, and other important structures and are a concern for about 7.9 million people living in the vicinity of these events.” READ MORE and MORE (Partnership for Policy Integrity) and MORE (Washington Post) and MORE (News9) and MORE (Politico’s Morning Energy) Download report
Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy: SHAKE IT UP: The central and eastern U.S. can expect fewer earthquakes this year as oil and gas companies reduce their drilling in the region, the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday. The tumble in oil and gas prices means companies are less active in Oklahoma, Texas and southern Kansas, areas where tremors had increased substantially since the U.S. shale boom went into full effect. The region had been quake-free before 2010 but has since become as earthquake prone as California, the USGS said in its latest forecast. About 4 million people in the region are at risk from natural and human-caused quakes. READ MORE